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msnNOW New Social News Aggregator by Microsoft

Microsoft  has launched a new online service called msnNOW, which is a social media powered trends and news aggregator. It analyzes data from Twitter, Facebook, Bing and some other services to identify, curate and display the latest news stories and trends. It is like a mash-up of Google News and Google Trends, but instead of search, it is powered by social data .

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Talk like an England cricketer

Don’t worry if you haven’t got time to listen to the fulfil their media obligations. Just pick one from each section of our automated interview response generator.

Introductory remark
To be fair
Obviously
Very much so
For me
Look
As I say
Being honest
In all fairness
I’d be lying if I said
We acknowledge
Of course

Individual
Monty
Straussy
Cooky
Trotty
Poor old Ravi
Belly
Finny
Priory (wicketkeeper, not depression place)
KP
Morgs
Broady
Jimmy
Swanny
Andy Flower
Giles Clarke

Acknowledgement
Is struggling with
Is suffering from
Is finding difficulties
Acknowledges he has a weakness with regards to
Is working hard on
Has done fantastically with
Puts an enormous amount of work into
Practices night and day on
Trains as hard as anyone with
Would be the first to admit that he’s isn’t
Is holding his hand up and admitting he’s
Has recently developed a problem with

Issue
Picking the doosra
Picking the straight one
Scoring against spinners
Hitting the ball
Missing Goochie
Drinking the water
Eating the food
Keeping anything down
Adapting to the hot weather in the UAE
Adapting to the cold weather in the UAE
Rushing to the loo every five minutes
Missing his family
Missing his dog
Missing EastEnders
Travelling poorly
Being out of the side
Being in the side
Dealing with depression
Undergoing an existential crisis
Being unable to catch
Finding Swanny’s banter a bit trying
Thinking KP should pipe down
Bantering on Twitter
Plugging his sponsors’ products
Having nightmares about mystery spinners
Understanding the DRS
Dealing with the media

But on the positive side…

Group
The guys
The bowling unit
The batting unit
The fielding unit
The bathroom unit
The batters
The bowlers
The coach
The captain
The senior players
The leadership group
Our friends and families
Cricket as a whole
The sporting community
The staff at the hotel
The medical staff
The Ashley Gileses of this world
The whole team
The whole squad
The whole squad and the backroom staff
The whole squad and the backroom staff and everyone connected with Team England

…is/are…

Action words and phrases
Communicating
Focusing
Being aggressive
Being supportive
Encouraging
Supporting each other
Concentrating hard
Being decisive
Working together
Sticking together
Concentrating on the basics
Hitting the right areas
Not allowing themselves to get sidetracked
Doing the simple things well
Relaxing on the golf course
Relaxing with the Xbox
Getting away from the game
Enjoying a night out
Visualising success

…to…

Dynamic closing statement
End this tour on a high
Take a long hard look a ourselves
Go into the one-day series with some momentum
Silence a few critics
Help him get over this bad patch
Realise that we have not become a bad team overnight
Take the positives from the situation
Iron out what we are sure is just a blip
Support our team-mate in this tough time
Show him that we are right behind him
Put these bad results behind us
Play with a smile on our face
Rise to the challenge
Show why we got to number one in the first place
End the Test series with a win
Restore some pride
And give ourselves something to build on

Example one
Look
Morgs
acknowledges he has a weakness with regards to
hitting the ball
but on the positive side
the whole squad and the backroom staff and everyone connected with Team England
are
working together
to
iron out what we are sure is just a blip

Example two
In all fairness
Cooky
is holding his hand up and admitting he’s
missing Goochie
but on the positive side
our friends and families
are
working together
to
show that we are right behind him

Example three
Of course
Belly
puts an enormous amount of work into
rushing to the loo every five minutes
but on the positive side
the bathroom unit
is
being supportive
to
help him get over this bad patch

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in CRICKET

 

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Google+ ‘fastest-growing’ ever

Google is a latecomer to social networking but its new site, Google+, is growing much more rapidly than Facebook, Myspace and Twitter did in their early days, technology experts said Tuesday.
While Google+ may be the fastest-growing social network ever, it remains to be seen, however, whether it can pose a serious threat to the social networking titan Facebook, which has more than 750 million members.
Andrew Lipsman, vice-president for industry analysis at tracking firm comScore, said Google+, which was launched by the Internet search and advertising giant on June 28, had 25 million unique visitors as of July 24.
During a panel discussion on Google+ hosted by Wedbush Securities, Lipsman said it took other social networks much longer to reach 25 million users: 22 months for Myspace, 33 months for Twitter and 37 months for Facebook.
“Obviously, this is a very strong growth trajectory,” Lipsman said.
He cautioned, however, that Google “has a really large user base it can build off of” with its one billion users worldwide.
And it still has a “really long way to go to be competitive with Facebook,” Lipsman said.

Important
“Google+ is the fastest by a long shot but it’s important to realize that fastest may not always be best,” he said. “Sometimes, that slow build can lead to a strong network effect that pays long-term dividends.”
Most Google+ users — 6.4 million — are in the United States, followed by India with 3.6 million, Canada with 1.1 million, Britain with 1.1 million and Germany with over 920,000, according to comScore.
Lipsman said many Google+ users appear to also be users of Google’s email program Gmail and display a “very strong early adopter profile.”
He said the ratio of men to women is about two to one and that 60 percent of Google+ users are between the ages of 18 and 34.
In the United States, the highest numbers of Google+ users are in the tech-savvy cities of San Francisco and Austin, Texas, he said.
Steve Rubel, executive vice president for global strategy and insights at public relations firm Edelman, said Facebook is not “vulnerable immediately” to Google.
“I don’t see (Google+) taking significant share from Facebook in the next 18 months,” Rubel said.
At the same time, “what we have seen is that over the years there’s never been a social network or community that has had significant staying power,” he said. “There’s always a shuffling every two or three years, a changing of the guard.

“We saw it with Myspace,” he said of the one-time social networking leader that has been eclipsed by Facebook and hemorrhaging users ever since.
Rubel said Google was compelled to try its hand at social networking because Facebook is restricting the access of its search engine to Facebook content.
“What’s happening is more content is being created behind Facebook’s walls than ever before and a lot of that content is invisible to Google,” he said.
“Conceptually, at least, they’re building kind of an alternate Web… There’s also an entire Web that is app-based on mobile phones. That is also invisible to them.”
Rubel said it was conceivable that more content would be invisible to them in five or 10 years than what the search engine can see today when created on Facebook or inside apps.
“So they had to make a play to get more people to create content on their site,” he continued. “It’s to get more people to spend time on Google.”
In unveiling Google+, Google stressed the ability it gives users to separate online friends and family into different “Circles,” or networks, and to share information only with members of a particular circle.
One of the criticisms of Facebook is that updates are shared with all of one’s friends unless a user has gone through a relatively complicated process to create separate Facebook Groups.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Google Now Detecting Viruses, For At Least One Form Of Malware

Google has just announced something pretty interesting, that it is using its own data to detect viruses and will as of today be using Google Search results pages to warn users if their computers are infected with a specific form of malware. Users infected with the virus, which is apparently rerouting traffic to Google and other sites through a proxy, will see the below warning.

From the Google blog post mysteriously titled “Using data to protect people from malware”:

“Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or “malware.” As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results.”

Google’s Matt Cutts offers more details about the virus on his Twitter account, apparently it only affects Windows computers and hijacks Google results. “That’s how we learned about it,” Cutts says about the “results hacking” thing, without offering many more details. Google is recommending you follow the advice in its Help Center if you do receive the notification.

This is the first time major search engine turns its results pages into what is ostensibly a malware alarm. Of course this is in the company’s best interests; if proxies are intercepting communications they could also potentially access Google accounts, thus creating more headaches for Google.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Twitter Drives 4x as Much Traffic as You Think. Here’s Why …

Most web publishers measure where their traffic is coming from using an analytics package such as Google Analytics, Omniture or Core Metrics.

These were good packages in the pre social media world at helping figure out who was driving your traffic.

Today they’re wrong. Terribly wrong. And figuring out who is referring your traffic is a very important part of determining how you allocate your marketing budgets. It is almost certain that Twitter is driving much more of your referrals than you think.

Possibly up to 4x as much.

Jonathan Strauss is the gentleman who did all the number crunching and has written an excellent post on why this is.

I’ve been a user of awe.sm (his product) before I invested in his company (disclosure) so the understatement of Twitter as a referral source is a problem I’ve known about for a long time. Let me give you the simple explanation.

Take a look at the Google Analytics log for BothSidesofTheTable.com for yesterday. I had 8,502 visitors yesterday of which 1,669 are listed as “direct.” Direct traffic are people who typed in my URL directly. They weren’t “referred” by anybody.

But look at the second line. This says “direct – bothsid.es / bothsid.es – twitter” and shows 1,423 referrals. Line 5 says twitter.com / bothsid.es – twitter” for 712 referrals and line 9 shows twitter.com for 170 people.

What does that mean?

awe.sm tracks all of my social media sharing behavior. What awe.sm does is it allows publishers to be able to track each individual share behavior to a level of granularity that no other campaign tracking tool I’m aware of allows.

In ordinary tracking line 2 would have shown up as “direct” traffic and I would have assumed that I was getting a lot more direct traffic than I really was. I would have assumed I was 36% direct and just 10% via Twitter when the reality is that I’m 20% direct and 27% via Twitter.

In fact, the actual Twitter referrals are generally up to 4x as much as people think is happening. And the same is almost certainly the same for most publishers in terms of understating referrals.

This is a problem because publishers might then under invest in Twitter campaigns relative to others because they don’t get “last mile attribution” right.

This happens with other marketing campaigns, too. Often you hear a radio ad, see a TV ad or read an article in a magazine and you type the results into Google to find out more details about the product or service. The problem is that marketers assume that Google drove the traffic. They did not. So you ramp down your TV or print campaigns and suddenly your search volume goes down.

Doh!

Last mile attribution is very important to understand marketing ROI. For the above problem the best company I know of is called Convertro. I’m not an investor in the company. But Jeff Zwelling is one of the most informed people on last-mile attribution with whom I’ve spoken.

And in social media the problem is even worse than I described. Twitter is an amazing generator of social hooks to websites. Some of that comes from Twitter.com or other Twitter clients. But since many other websites pull in Twitter data, including links, you don’t always know who is referring the traffic to you.

Case in point: LinkedIn. Many Tweets are now being sent to LinkedIn and then the publisher assumes that the source of the referral is LinkedIn. In some ways it is because that’s where your user engaged the content. But get rid of the Tweet and you get rid of the referral traffic in the same way as I described the loss when you cancel your TV commercial.

So when I see MG Siegler announce that LinkedIn is sending more traffic to TechCrunch than Twitter – I’m not so sure. I understand why he would think that – Google Analytics tells him so. But I’ll bet a hefty amount of LinkedIn clicks were originated on Twitter. And I’ll bet a whole lot of TechCrunch “direct” traffic is from Twitter.

With proper social media attribution you need to generate a unique URL for EACH share behavior. So if you click on a “Tweet this” button on a website to send an article to your friends, that link needs to be individual to you and to that exact share instance. By making the URL link unique to its point of generation you can then track it better as it spreads to other sites

And importantly when anybody else then shares the link to this site it maps out a “parent / child” link relationship. So if the original Tweet was on Twitter and then somebody builds a “Tweet this” from a product like LinkedIn, you can still tell that the original source of the the story was Twitter. Call it, “last mile social media attribution” and when you’re a brand spending money on products & marketing you need to know this.

They also cookie users so that we can better track who it was that drove viral adoption of campaigns. It could be that one influential person send a Tweet but he doesn’t have a lot of followers. If Ashton Kutcher follows that person and suddenly shares if with his 7 million followers it would start to snowball.

So there you have it. The story is never quite as simple as the data might lead you to believe.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Blackle

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Blackle was created by Heap Media to remind us all of the need to take small steps in our everyday lives to save energy. Blackle searches are powered by Google Custom Search.

Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. “Image displayed is primarily a function of the user’s color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen.”Roberson et al, 2002

In January 2007 a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine. Since then there has been skepticism about the significance of the energy savings that can be achieved and the cost in terms of readability of black web pages.

We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly we feel that seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we need to keep taking small steps to save energy.

How can you help?

We encourage you to set Blackle as your home page. This way every time you load your Internet browser you will save a little bit of energy. Remember every bit counts! You will also be reminded about the need to save energy each time you see the Blackle page load.

Help us spread the word about Blackle by telling your friends and family to set it as their home page.  Or put the following text in your email signature: “Blackle.com – Saving energy one search at a time”.

Have a look at our energy saving tips page for ideas on steps you can take to save energy or you can followBlackle on Twitter and we will keep you updated with simple energy saving tips.

There are a lot of great web sites about saving energy and being more environmentally friendly. They are full of great tips covering the little things that we can all do to make a difference today. Try Blackling “energy saving tips” or visit one of the many great blogs dedicated to environmental awareness.

http://www.blackle.com/

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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